Well, summer is finally here. The weather is incredible for our first week of summer. I trust each of you will find time in the coming days and weeks for a hike, swim, or other favorite outdoor sport as we enjoy this beautiful Pacific Northwest region.
What an incredible evening I had tonight as the State agriculture teachers celebrated our own South Kitsap staff and community partners at their annual statewide banquet. Tonight, the Washington Association of Agricultural Educators (WAAE), honored our Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director, Ms. Sara Hatfield, as the regional District Outstanding Administrator. The WAAE current State President, our very own Mr. Mike Sheppard, nominated and presented the award. Not to be outdone, Mike was honored by his peers as an Outstanding Mentor. Farmer George was honored as a community partner as they have supported our South Kitsap Agriculture program for many years. We are so blessed to have these outstanding educators, community partners, and this amazing CTE program for our students in this great district. Well done !!
This past week, our SKSD Board of Directors met with the Board of Trustees from Olympic College as part of our board work study session. It was a spirited and collaborative conversation that is headed toward a possible partnership in conjunction with a potential capital bond to build a second high school in the district. There are many more conversations to be had and much more work to be done to be thoughtful about the details that might best support such an innovative endeavor for our community. I will be sharing more about this important topic in the weeks to come. If you have any ideas or questions about this project, please do not hesitate to contact me. This is an exciting time to be in the South Kitsap School District.
Our athletic field and track complex project is moving along quickly. This innovative field project, the first of its kind in the Northwest, continues to move forward. The Hellas Corporation indicates significant work will be taking place this Friday as they will be laying drainage pipe and spreading fabric on the field. It is exciting to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuCvs0nVB4U as this project comes to life. We are so grateful for our generous community partners…Thank you.
The Food and Nutrition Services Department is upgrading their work area at the high school. Ms. Ariane Shanley and her staff are to be commended for the renovations and work model they have created. High school students and staff will have more efficient and more effective food service as a result. Aesthetically, the cafeteria area will also be more appealing.
The roofs at Mullenix Ridge and Hidden Creek are also in the midst of construction. The construction buzz all over the district is so progressive and exciting. We are so grateful for our generous community members who supported our most recent levy so that we could address these leaking roofs. Our students and staff will be snug during the heavy rains this coming fall and winter… remember rain ;>) …
This was a recently shared community thought…” Many of Aristotle’s principles are valid for any ethics. Being human does not mean simply obeying laws that come from outside, but attaining maturity. Being human means becoming as perfectly accomplished as possible. If we do not become fully accomplished, something is lost to the whole of humanity. For Aristotle, this accomplishment derives from the most perfect activity: that of seeking the truth in all things, shunning lies and illusions, acting in accordance with justice, transcending oneself to act for the good of others in society.” — Jean Vanier
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Even as classes are not in session, there are still many things happening in the district. Our amazing Facilities Department is in full swing with moving and facility projects. The roof projects at Hidden Creek and Mullenix Ridge are beginning this week with a great deal of energy and excitement as these new roofs are greatly anticipated. Further, our new turf athletic field and track had the groundbreaking ceremony Groundbreaking video this past Monday. This was an exciting event with a great deal of local community participation. Mr. Tom O’Brien, our intrepid Director of Facilities and Operations, is overseeing this mammoth project as well as the roof projects. Our exceptional ground crew is also busily working to maintain our grounds across the district and support the many acres of property we treasure.
The Office of Special Education (OSE) has made the move to the district office this week and was warmly welcomed by the various departments at the district office. I want to especially thank our Instructional Technology (IT) Department for their work to set up and support this move in a very effective and efficient manner. Our Facilities staff also were busily installing desks, partitions and file cabinets to make this move a reality. All of this hard work is much appreciated. Thank you.
As is their custom, the Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight this past week was Emily Fogel from Marcus Whitman Jr High . It is so nice to have our teachers honored in such a public way for their outstanding and necessary work with our students. Well done.
Casey Ogan, the South Kitsap High School Assistant Principal, reported this week that the high school application for authorization has been reviewed by the International Baccalaureate (IB) reviewers. Based on their feedback, all practices and standards for the IB “appear to be in place”. From what he can tell, this means we are all set for our verification visit at the high school. This is an affirmation of a significant amount of dedicated work on the part of many staff at the high school and signals an important next step in the quest for IB designation for our high school. So, on to the next step… The IB reviewers have been sent three different date for the verification visit; two in the end of October and one the week before Thanksgiving. I’ll keep you posted on the next phase. We are so proud to recognize this hard work on behalf of our students.
A summer tradition we have here in the South Kitsap School District is the opportunity for our young students in the community to participate in a variety of camps and activities where our older students serve as mentors. One such camp has been our baseball camp recently held at the SKHS field complex. It has been a great camp thus far and the boys are enjoying the opportunity to play some baseball. Marcus Logue, our SK Head Baseball coach notes; “Our high school players are awesome role models and it is rewarding to see them teach the game and how important it is to be a good human being to our youth.” These are such important lessons for our older student athletes to cement by modeling and teaching them as well as for our younger student athletes who will thrive by learning them. Character does count. Well done.
The Kindergarten Assessment and Report Card committee met this afternoon to review the STAR Early Literacy assessments. With Journeys in its first year of adoption next year, the kindergarten teachers believe that it would not be appropriate to utilize Journeys to determine reading level until they’ve had a year to vet it. The kindergarten assessment binder contains literacy assessments that are standards-based and not tied to any curriculum. Since STARS is also not tied to a curriculum, the Kindergarten Assessment and Report Card committee wanted to have an opportunity to explore STARS to determine if it would be an option for replacing some components of the current standards-based kindergarten assessments. This exploration of the STAR assessment by the committee is necessary should the District Assessment and ELA Committees recommendation to adopt STAR be approved. While the recommendation of the ELA committee was to utilize STAR for grades K-10, the assessment committee, recognizing the number of assessments that kindergarten already gives, gave the option to kindergarten to determine whether or not they wanted to be included in the use of STAR for 2015-16.
One of the significant rites of passage at the end of any given school year is the flurry of position openings and lengthy interview sessions that support the selection of our new staff for the upcoming school year. This year is no exception. I know that within any living breathing organization that change is inevitable. It is actually a sign of healthy growth. The recent round of administrative hires at the district level honors the work and experience of some of our veteran school principals. While it is an amazing asset for our district family to benefit from the talent and dedicated work of these dynamic educational leaders, it can also be a time for anxiety as we solicit applicants and find the best fit for the new principals and their building level teams. The good news is that the new school administrative staff we will be selecting will be joining an incredible family of educators who understand the work and resolutely care for the children – all of them, no exceptions. I continue to be so excited about our future …
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Hello Team South Kitsap,
What a fantastic week!! We had the last two high school graduation celebrations this week with Discovery and South Kitsap High School concluding commencement ceremonies, while Explorer graduated its seniors last week. All three of these high school graduation ceremonies are so special and celebrate important milestones in the lives of these students and their families. Each of you have been a part of the journey for our seven hundred graduates this year. Thank you.
It is with a heavy heart that I share the sad news of the passing of one of our South Kitsap staff family. Jay Villars, Principal at John Sedgwick, announced the passing of their Head Custodian, Mr. Jim Williams. Mr. Williams had been ill and passed away at his home over the weekend. Jay commented, “ Many knew him by the nickname “Mr. Clean” which he enjoyed and cherished. He was a very friendly man with a lot of spirit. He worked at John Sedgwick Junior High for thirty-four years. He enjoyed working with kids the most. He made a lot of friends over the years and he enjoyed connecting and catching up with students after they graduated. He truly believed in Rachel’s challenge and connected with students every day. He will be greatly missed.” I know you will join me in keeping his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.
At today’s community luncheon, the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce honored the SKSD Star Staff of the Quarter. The Classified Star Staff Award - Gloria Parks, our amazing SKSD Laundry Person for over forty years who was nominated by Mr. Tom O’Brien, and the Certificated Star Staff Award - Sabrina Westermann, an outstanding teacher at Manchester Elementary, who was nominated by Ms. Lisa Lightbody. The attendees at the luncheon were impressed with the accomplishments of both honorees this quarter. We are a better district for their work with our children. Thank you.
Our ESD recently received a significant STEM grant opportunity. Senator Patty Murray notes, “Washington ranks third in the country for concentration of STEM jobs, but has nearly the fastest growing skills gap of all 50 states. In today’s economy, strong STEM skills are a critical element of a well-rounded education and educational institutions are poised to leverage NASA’s unique content to engage students in STEM. I hope that you ensure that a high bar is set for STEM education transformation by encouraging NASA to fund the NESPP proposal. In order to significantly scale equity and access efforts, and to move toward the National STEM Education goal to prepare 100,000 excellent new K-12 STEM teachers by 2020, and support the existing K-12 STEM workforce, Olympic Educational Service District 114 will pilot a STEM Cooperative Network that will serve over 3,000 teachers from 17 districts and over 50,000 students. The Regional STEM Network will serve as a focal point for NGSS-focused STEM discourse between middle/high school teachers and researchers; provide a platform for STEM problems of practice discussions; facilitate equity and access by providing a mechanism for collaborative discussions across a large geographic region.” We are excited to participate in this great opportunity for our district and region.
I have a great South Kitsap Alumni update. Former Wolf, Megan Murnane (now a WSU, College of Communication, Broadcast Journalism Major) collaborated with another student while in Cuba for a Backpack Journalism Course. Their article was published in the Global Post recently (front page) and was also picked up in the L.A. Daily News. The following link http://www.globalpost.com/article/6565296/2015/05/29/cuba-us-interests-section-internet highlights this work. Megan and her fellow student shot all the footage themselves. Megan said they pretended to be "tourists" so they could film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLePZNAWmaY in areas where filming is discouraged, even renting a convertible with a driver to get footage of Havana. All aspects of this collaborative project, both the film piece and the article were completed by Megan and her fellow student. A big shout out to Megan’s Sedgwick Jr. High and South Kitsap High School Video Production Teachers (Mr. Schmuck/Mr. Downum), to let them know that their teaching and mentoring have made a huge impact and Megan is making the most of her experiences. Well done !!
I want to remind you that we will be having the groundbreaking for our new stadium field and track this coming week. The groundbreaking event will take place on Monday, June 15, at 10:30 am at the high school field. Our donors, Mrs. Helen Langer Smith from Kitsap Bank, and Mrs. Debbie Macomber and her family will be attending the event. Please plan to attend if you are able and celebrate this amazing partnership project with us. Light refreshments will be served. Further, if you are looking for that perfect ‘green gift’ for a special holiday, we are planning to sell pieces of the old grass football field at the high school with the proceeds supporting athletic and activity programs for our student athletes. These pieces will be cut following the groundbreaking ceremony and likely will be gone by the end of the week. Sorry, once it’s gone, its gone ;>)
I want to share that our school district has been invited to join Harvard University in an important research study in the Fall of 2015. The Mathematics Teachers and Teaching Survey is a national study focused on understanding the current state of mathematics instruction. The study is funded by the National Science Foundation and is being conducted jointly by researchers from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. This is an exciting opportunity for our staff and students as we will not only be able to participate in this national level cutting edge work; but, we will also have access to the early research data from around the country as part of this study. What a great time to be in education !! South Kitsap is on the move…
As this is the last week of the current school year, I want to share how important it is to take a serious break this summer. “According to a 2011 study, on a typical day, we take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers’ worth of information, five times as much as we did in 1986. As the world’s 21,274 television stations produce some 85,000 hours of original programming every day (by 2003 figures), we watch an average of five hours of television per day. For every hour of YouTube video you watch, there are 5,999 hours of new video just posted!” The world is changing so rapidly it can be dizzying at times. http://nyti.ms/1pI8Y1q Vacation isn’t a luxury, nor is daydreaming ;>)
I will be continuing my Thursday Memo during the summer and will also be posting the Memo to my Blog linked to our district web-site on the left front page. If you have a preferred e-mail address that you would like to receive the Thursday Memo at over the summer, please provide it to Amy Miller firstname.lastname@example.org and I will oblige. It is my intent to keep you up to date on any decisions and plans as they become clear over the summer. Conversely, please feel free to stop by and visit with me or send me any ideas or thoughts you might have over the summer as I will be here most of the summer and would love to visit with you.
Finally, on behalf of our Board of Directors and almost 10,000 students and their families, please accept our heartfelt thanks for a job well done this year. I continue to learn a great deal from you and consider it my real privilege to continue to serve you in the coming year. I want to thank all of you who are retiring for the many years of service you have provided on behalf of our students in this great district and encourage the rest of us to take a few minutes tomorrow to personally thank those around us who will not be with us in the coming year. We are a better district for your dedication and efforts. Enjoy the summer break and find that balance that sustains and refreshes us.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
Wow, what an amazing week!! We have had so many reasons to celebrate and share fellowship with one another. This past week, we held the Staff Recognition Event prior to the regularly scheduled Board meeting. This event Staff Recognition Event photo gallery link honors our retirees, twenty-five year employees and the NIB winners for the last part of the school year. We have so many community and staff members doing amazing things that result in this NIB recognition, 2014-2015 NIB photo gallery link . Further, Andrea Dilley and the choir from Marcus Whitman recently performed the National Anthem at a Mariners Game. View the video here . Wow, what a great performance!! And if that is not enough, Artwork from Nancy Immel’s 4th grade class from Manchester will be featured on the blade of a Kitsap County snowplow. Read more It is hard to even imagine snow with weather like we are currently having ;<) Please also note our Celebration of Partnerships photo gallery link . Well done.
During the course of the evening, we also honored our two recent State Championship teams, the Boys’ Baseball Team and the Boys’ Track and Field Team. Our Athletic Director, Mr. Ed Santos, notes that we have had thirteen State Championship titles in the history of South Kitsap High School, and to earn two such championships on the same week-end is something very special. We are so proud of our young student athletes, their coaches, families and fans. Go Wolves !!
Earlier this week, we received news from the Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) Program that the following students from our district are among the talented juniors from across the state whose academic performance on the WAS Phase One curriculum qualified them for Phase Two – the WAS Summer Residency. These students are Matthew Collins and Caitlyn Wilhelm. Teacher Bev Painter, from South Kitsap High School, is ecstatic as this is really a great opportunity and outstanding achievement to be a part of this project. Phase Two is a six-day experience held at Seattle’s Museum of Flight during three sessions throughout June and July. In each summer session, four student teams cooperate to plan a human mission to Mars with support from professional engineers/scientists, university students, and certificated educators. Additionally, participants receive briefings from aerospace professionals, tour engineering facilities, and compete in hands-on engineering challenges. These students have committed to leading the way to Mars. I know this is very exciting though I must admit I am not sure I am planning to head out to Mars anytime soon ;>)
We continue to be so lucky to have READY! for Kindergarten programming and are impressed with the attendance data for 2014-15. We had three wonderful seasons of classes, supporting parents in the raising of curious and competent children. We look forward to the following dates for 2015-16: October 3, 6, 8, 10 ~~ Jan 30, Feb 2, 4, 6 ~~ April 30, May 3, 5, 7. Thank you so much to Marcia Coyne and the many volunteers who put in countless hours of work on this important community partnership.
I am completing my strategic planning visits at each school and am really grateful for the candid conversations we have had at the schools. Our 2020 Plan is important as it will guide our work and allocation of resources over the next several years. I also have been thrilled to be a part of the graduation season as it is again upon us. Explorer had its graduation this past Monday evening under the direction of Principal Pat Oster. The staff all attended the special commencement exercises and the students, families and friends were so excited. This is such an important milestone to mark with our students, staff, families and community. Discovery and South Kitsap High School will be graduating their seniors in the coming week on Monday and Tuesday respectively. What precious culminating events, and what an honor it is to participate in them.
There is quite a bit of administrative news in the district this week. We have made a number of decisions and following grueling interview schedules, senior district leadership team members have been appointed. Please note the following…
It is my real pleasure to announce that our new Assistant Superintendent for Student Success is Mr. Jay Villars. Jay Villars, email@example.com has been with the South Kitsap School District since 2000, serving as the Principal for John Sedgwick Junior High School. He has been heavily involved in various District committees, including most recently the Professional Development Systems Committee and the District Boundary Review Committee. Prior to his work in South Kitsap School District, he served as Assistant Principal in North Kitsap School District, Port Townsend School District and Colton Joint Unified School District. Jay is working on his Superintendents Certification with Western Washington University; additionally, he earned his Master of Education degree in School Administration from Azusa Pacific University and his Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from California State University, San Bernardino. He also has his teaching certificate from Azusa Pacific University and a Theater Arts degree from California State University, San Bernardino. Jay has been recognized as an Outstanding Principal for the Peninsula Region with the Association of Washington School Principals. He has also been an Instructor at Western Washington University for their Principal Certification Program.
It is my real pleasure to announce that we have hired Mr. Brian Pickard firstname.lastname@example.org , to the position of Executive Director for Staff and School Support. Brian Pickard has been with the South Kitsap School District since 1988, serving as the Principal of South Colby Elementary since 1992. He has served on a wide variety of district-level teams and committees, including most recently co-facilitating the Science Task Force. Brian also participates at the State and national levels serving as a board member for the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the Association of Washington School Principals. Brian received both his MA and BA from Central Washington University – go Wildcats! He has been recognized as the Peninsula Region Distinguished Principal and voted King TV’s Best Principal in Western Washington! Brian volunteers with the SKHS basketball program and is a board member of SK Helpline. Brian joins Ms. Anita Chandler, who has been previously announced as our new Executive Director for Teaching and Learning.
As to school leadership changes, I am pleased to announce our new Orchard Heights Principal team as well. The new Orchard Heights Principal is Mr. Mark Gudger and his Assistant Principal is Ms. Barbara Pixton.
Mark Gudger, email@example.com has been the interim Assistant Principal at Orchard Heights since March 2015. He has been part of South Kitsap School District since September 2003. His career with our district began as an Elementary School Teacher at Mullenix Ridge Elementary; Mark then transitioned to administrative roles, including serving as an interim Principal at Olalla Elementary, an interim Dean/Instructional Specialist and interim Assistant Principal at Cedar Heights Junior High School. Prior to his work in the South Kitsap School District he taught in the Seattle and Yakima areas. Mark earned his Educational Administration degree from Western Washington University; additionally, he earned his Master’s degree in Educational Technology from City University and his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Special Education from Central Washington University. Mark also holds a Library Media Endorsement from Antioch University. Mark has been a part of the Washington Library Media Association as the Peninsula Regional Chair. He also is a member of the Association of Washington School Principals, the Northwest Council for Computer Educators and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Barbara Pixton, firstname.lastname@example.org has most recently served in the role of Dean of Students with the North Kitsap School District. She also has been an Instructional Support Specialist and teacher with North Kitsap School District. Additionally, Barbara has been a testing coordinator and teacher trainer for the Smarter Balanced Field Test. Barbara has experience with being an advocate for the unique needs of military families, having served as a Navy Chief Petty Officer. Barbara earned her Principal credentials from Pacific Lutheran University as well as her Master’s degree in Leadership/Administration and her Bachelor of Arts in Education with a minor in Special Education. Barbara is involved as a Kitsap County Teen Mentor Coordinator and a member of the Instructional Leadership Council.
We are so blessed to celebrate these talented people in their new roles. Leadership is both a privilege and responsibility. I am confident that these leaders will enrich and strengthen the fabric of our leadership tapestry. Please also note the recent Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight Mark Sutton from Manchester Elementary . We are on the move…
In next week’s Thursday Memo, I will elaborate on my recommendation for Grade Reconfiguration. I am still working on the details and research necessary to make a comprehensive thoughtful recommendation as this decision affects all of us and is not being undertaken lightly. I appreciate all of you who continue to offer ideas, thoughts and suggestions. It matters. I will also explicitly lay out the financial resolutions recently approved by the Board to support much needed capital projects in our district.
Finally, I trust each of you will enjoy a wonderful weekend. The weather is again planned to be amazing. It is so important to seize the day and revel in our gifts.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
What a gorgeous week we have been having. We are so blessed to have the weather we have here, particularly in light of the extreme weather conditions in many other parts of this country. I trust you are all enjoying it to the fullest. Our spring athletes are certainly making the most of their outdoor time. We have various athletes competing in the State Tournaments this week-end and I hope to get out to watch several of the contests and events. All the best to all those competing and those leading them.
What an exciting evening for our district tonight. South Kitsap High School celebrated Laurels Night with outstanding seniors, parents and family members, staff and community donors and friends. We can be so secure in our future and proud of the accomplishments of our graduating seniors. Every staff member in this district, in every department of this district, and serving every function in this district, can take credit in a job well done as we graduate the seniors this year from all three high school programs. This quote “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” by Anatole France graced the program cover of tonight’s celebration and is a fitting reminder of the promise our young people both have and hold. Like you, I look forward to their next steps…
I’m pleased to announce that ArtsEd Washington has selected Sunnyslope Elementary as one of only two statewide winners of this year’s Schools of Excellence in Arts Education Award! Their panel was blown away by the work Sunnyslope has done, and we are so excited to have a school in our district receive this honor. South Kitsap School District Arts Director, Bob Cooper, also touts Sunnyslope’s work, noting “the dedication of the staff, school leadership, and community to ensure ALL students receive a standards-based arts education that aligns with 21st Century skills desperately sought after by the business community.” Well done !!
I am pleased to announce that the Office of Special Education (OSE) is moving to the district office this summer. This is an exciting move and will result in having all instructional programs in one building. The more inclusive approach to student instructional programming and the ability to better collaborate on program development and implementation will benefit all children – no exceptions. Having all the Directors of these important programs in one place; e.g., Special Education, Title, LAP, CTE, Basic Education, etc. will only enhance the integration of these monies and program goals. All resources from all programs will be directed toward our single-minded focus of providing the best educational experience for each and every child in this great district. I want to thank all those charged with packing and sorting and moving materials for their work in making this possible. This includes our intrepid facilities and technology departments as they are tirelessly supporting all programs as well as those departments who are moving. When the dust settles, we will provide a district office map and resultant responsibilities chart so that it is clear what each department and person is responsible for as we continue to provide excellent support service to our district staff, students, families and the community.
I want to clarify our school calendar for the remainder of this school year. As a result of the missed student school day on May 20, we have amended the school calendar to extend our school year. As a result, the last day of school for this school year will be Monday, June 15, 2015. It will be a normal last day of school in that it is a shortened day as the previously scheduled June 12 day had been. It then follows that Friday, June 12, 2015, will be a full day of school. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this adjustment.
I want to share my enthusiasm for the progress we are making in increasing the number of AP courses taken by our students this year. I also want to give a shout out to those junior high teachers who have undertaken the instruction of two new AP courses this year for our ninth grade students. As you remember, we added AP Human Geography and AP Environmental Science to our ninth grade course offerings. Teachers Stephanie Winslow, Arnie Otterbeck, Carrie Zamberlin, Matt Davis, Teresa Messing, Larry Nelson, and Scott Appleby have combined to teach 251 ninth grade students in these AP courses this year. The enrollment for next year in these same two ninth grade AP courses is currently set at 323 students and rising. I really appreciate the dedicated work these teachers and support staff have put in to create these learning experiences for students. We are all eagerly awaiting their scores. Research is clear that even if students only receive a 2 on their AP score, they are twice as likely to be successful in that content area at the next level; e.g., apprenticeship programs, college, trade school, military instructional schools, etc. Overall, since last year we have increased the number of students district-wide taking AP classes from 377 students to 1055 students. This is a great example of nurturing growth and inspiring achievement. Well done !!
Finally, I will be making my recommendation to the Board next week regarding our plans to reconfigure grade levels (move to K-5, 6-8, 9-12) in our district. As you know, the recent Boundary Review Committee has made a bold recommendation to move in this direction by no later than 2017-2018. After careful consideration, and a review of all available data both instructionally and financially, my recommendation for moving forward with a grade level realignment recommendation will likely be one that is phased in over the next several years and will be aligned with our other district level initiatives and strategic plan. If you have any last bit of feedback for me to consider prior to Tuesday evening, please feel free to forward your ideas, questions and concerns to me. I will plan to share my recommendation and rationale for this grade reconfiguration project in my Thursday Memo next week.
Have a great week-end and Go Wolves as we participate in a variety of championship activities !!
Hello Team South Kitsap,
We are pleased with the response to our inaugural Thoughtexchange process. This innovative tool allowed stakeholders to share thoughts when and where it’s most convenient. Our goal was to engage our stakeholders in drafting our strategic plan, goals, and priorities. It is clear from the more than 3,300 participants that our community wants to engage with us. Please take a moment to browse through the web-site http://skitsap.thoughtexchange.com/. You will see that stakeholders value our quality teachers and staff and how we support and engage all learners. We are also discovering areas we can improve. We will use all we learn to inform our strategic plan for 2020.
At the Board meeting this week, Olalla and Burley-Glenwood were each honored for being a School of Achievement. Greg Lynch, the ESD 114 Superintendent presented each school staff with the plaque and banner for each school. In reviewing the May enrollment, our student numbers continue to remain strong and getting stronger. As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years. Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend. This is making a real difference in our fund balance. A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings. As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitation 15 (EL 15) this past week. Derry Lyons, our SKSD IT Director, presented the updated District Tech Plan. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same. I am proud of our District IT Team.
On April 25, the Port Orchard Masonic Lodge honored eighteen educators from South Kitsap School District with Masonic Educator Awards. The honorees were: Robin Ragsdale from Burley Glenwood, Cathy Fay from EPO, Felitia Conley from Hidden Creek, Deanna Buzzell from Manchester, Cappi Burki and Counrtney Kallstrom from Mullenix, Karen Anderson from Olalla, Sarah Simmons and Kimberly Kilpatrick from Orchard Heights, Peter Darraugh from Sidney Glen, Beth Miller from South Colby, Barb McGinley from Sunnyslope, Quinn Avery from Cedar Heights, Cherryl Christman from Sedgwick, Christie Christman from Marcus, Jana Viergutz and Mandy Wood from South Kitsap High, and Jerry Polly from Discovery. We are blessed to have such outstanding educators serving the children of this great district. Well done!!
What an exciting evening we had on Tuesday. Due to the generosity of two local community donors, our community will soon have an innovative athletic complex that we can all be proud of. This project would not have been possible without the generosity of Kitsap Bank, represented by Mrs. Helen Langer Smith, Mr. Steve Politakis, and Mr. Tony George; and the Macomber Family represented by Ms. Adele LaCombe, Mr. Ted Macomber and his daughter, and Ms. Jody Banks. Mr. Tom O’Brien has done an outstanding job researching field turf products and during his presentation outlined the organic product viability. This will be the first field of its kind in the Northwest. Mrs. Smith, a 1946 graduate of South Kitsap High School, was endearing in her remembrance of being a cheerleader on that ‘muddy field’ back in the 1940s. It is long past time to have a safe field that we can use twelve months of the year. We are so blessed to have these community project partners. Thank you.
It is my great pleasure to announce two new administrative appointments for our South Kitsap School District family. Please join me in congratulating Ms. Anita Chandler, who will be our new Executive Director for Teaching and Learning, and Mr. Robin Christman who will be our new Special Education Department Assistant Director.
Anita Chandler has been with the South Kitsap School District for the last ten years, serving as the Principal of Mullenix Ridge Elementary School. Not only has she been a great leader at her building, she’s facilitated several district wide committees and initiatives. Anita has also been recognized as a distinguished principal for the Peninsula region. Anita obtained her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York and her Masters of Education from the University of Washington. Prior to working at Mullenix Ridge, she was both a general education and special education teacher at the elementary and secondary levels.
Robin Christman has been a Special Education teacher in the South Kitsap School District since 2006. His work has been primarily with the Community Transition Program, which has experienced tremendous success. Robin started his teaching career as a woodshop and math teacher, and has been in education since 1980. Prior to his work in the South Kitsap School District, he was the Program Supervisor for Special Education Operations with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Both Robin’s Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master’s Degree in Education Administration are from Central Washington University. In addition to his work in public education, he’s also taught at the collegiate level and served on various district committees.
I am thrilled to welcome two such amazing and innovative leaders to the district administrative team in their new roles. Please take a moment and welcome them. Our future is in good hands. I also want to thank the two interview teams who put in a great deal of effort in moving these selections forward. Thank you.
The District English Language Arts (ELA) Task Force was convened this year with teacher representatives from each school site and administrative representatives from each level. The ELA Task Force was charged to review current curriculum and recommend modifications and adoptions based on alignment with Common Core State Standards and literacy best practices. Following a review of many materials, the ELA committee recommended the piloting of three curricula during the 2014-2015 school year. After piloting materials, classroom observations, and a thorough evaluation of each program, the ELA committee unanimously recommended the adoption of Journeys (K-5). At the sixth grade level and the secondary level, the taskforce recommended that we continue with the current ELA adoption of Springboard (6-10) and Holt (11-12), as the new version of each program has been aligned to the CCSS. The Task Force developed a professional development plan and presented the draft to the district Professional Development Taskforce for review. This is a big step forward for our students and staff. I appreciate all the hard work many of you put in as this decision was made.
Finally, I wish each of you the best Memorial Day week-end ever. I would also ask each of you to pause during the BBQ, and other fun activities we will be having this weekend … to think about and thank those who have served our country so valiantly and remember the many sacrifices made on our behalf. It is so true that we are free because of the brave. Thank you.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
As the school year draws to a close, we are planning two great annual recognition events. The Celebration of Partnerships recognizes individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made significant contributions to student success and will be held at 5:00 p.m. on May 26 at East Port Orchard Elementary. The Staff Appreciation event recognizes retirees and those with 25 years of educational service and will be held at 5:00 p.m. on June 2 at Marcus Whitman Junior High. Please join us & celebrate.
The NJROTC Color Guard and the SKHS Band supported the 2015 NCAA Golf Championships by presenting colors and the national anthem this morning at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton. This was a short-notice event that was requested by the golf course because the active duty Navy color guard originally scheduled was forced to cancel. The Color Guard was led by Cadet Ensign Kelstrup, accompanied by Cadets Colin Ruane, Joshua Wiggins and Joshua Ray. The national anthem was performed on trombone, base trombone and snare drum by Kevin Morrison, Connor Fugier and Karl Estes, respectively. These fine SHKS students and cadets rallied early because they had to be at the golf course by 7:15 to perform at 7:45. They then returned to school during First Block to resume their studies. All in a day's work for the Wolves (and one Trailblazer)! What a great example of Nurturing Growth, Inspiring Achievement, and Building Community. Well done !!
In an All- Day Kindergarten Update, the Kindergarten Assessment and Report Card Committee met on Monday. In their previous meetings, they have made revisions to the report card based on their review of their ADK students’ performance this year. On Monday, they reviewed the draft of the first grade report card developed by the Assessment Committee and made recommendations for the revised kindergarten report card so that it aligns with the report card for first grade. Their suggestions will be passed on to the Report Card Committee which will be formed and meeting soon.
The Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood has 17 students registered for its first grade program and 21 for its second grade program. Space is filling up fast. Please contact Burley Glenwood if you would like to register your first grader for the Spanish Immersion class at Burley Glenwood. The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience.
Don’t miss the spring play! The Night I Died at the Palace Theatre is a fast paced, hilarious ‘who-dunnit’ comedy like never before seen at South Kitsap. The cast blows the roof off the stage with their chemistry and out of this world physical comedy. Two shows left on Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th at 7:30. The South Kitsap High School Art Show is on May 15 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. in the common projects area. This is a great opportunity to view our talented student work.
Also, a big thank you to the Kiwanis Club of Port Orchard for recognizing South Kitsap School District students of the month at their May 13 luncheon. Well done!!
We recently received a letter from a Navy Corpsmen about a project that was completed in our woods programs, under the direction of teacher Tim Shaffer. Mason Duerre, the student who assisted in the project, is to be commended for his efforts. Under the able tutelage of Mr. Shaffer, Mason assisted in completing Naval Hospital Bremerton’s “Heroes’ Wall of Honor”. This memorial means a great deal for all members of the command. The Wall is dedicated to honor the fifty-seven Corpsmen who were killed supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. What a great example of building community !! Well done !!
South Kitsap School District is working with our community partners, YMCA and Boys & Girls Club, to offer child care options for parents during the teacher walkout on May 20. YMCA will host kids ages 5-12 at East Port Orchard Elementary and Boys & Girls Club will host kids ages 6-12 at Sidney Glen Elementary. More information and contact information is available on our website. Childcare will be provided free at both sites. We are so grateful for these strong community partnerships.
While I am not thrilled with the decision that SKEA has come to, and I would prefer that they had chosen a different manner in which to express their dissatisfaction with the legislature, I acknowledge their frustration with the legislature and the funding challenges we have all lived with as a result of the legislative gridlock in recent years. I know we all share the belief that the legislature has fallen short of fully funding our schools and has continued to increase demands around assessment, teacher and principal evaluation, and other program compliance issues. Clearly, this act of civil disobedience is one borne out of frustration with the situation. Having said this, I want to again remind you that it is important that we stay positive about our local schools and continue to focus on what is best for our students. There will be those in the community that will want to divide us, and while we may not all agree on the manner of a walkout, we must stay resolutely and unwaveringly focused on the end game message -- that the State must fully fund education for our children to thrive. A colleague has sent the following link http://storiesfromschool.org/walk-out-day-about-voters-not-teachers/ which I think is worth the read. Like you, I share the belief that a fully supported public education system is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy. I know the details of how to bridge this ideal with the reality of State funding priorities is challenging; but, we will find a solution. We must believe …
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
On behalf of our Board of Directors and support staff in the district, I proudly join Governor Jay Inslee in recognizing our state’s nearly 60,000 school teachers during our celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week. In particular, I want to recognize our great South Kitsap School District Teachers and Nurses this week. You make a difference every day by inspiring students to pursue their passions, connect with the world around them, and develop skills for future success. Thank you for all you do for the students of South Kitsap. We are a better community because of your efforts.
During National Nurses Week and throughout the year, the American Nurses Association (ANA) is proud to celebrate the role nurses play in delivering the highest level of quality care to their patients. The National Nurses Week 2015 theme "Ethical Practice. Quality Care." recognizes the importance of ethics in nursing and acknowledges the strong commitment, compassion and care nurses display in their practice and profession. The theme is an important part of ANA’s 2015 Year of Ethics outreach to promote and advocate for the rights, health and safety of nurses and patients. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3OuCy-34o68 We salute our South Kitsap School District Nurses for their compassionate service to our students.
Recently, the Family and Consumer Science Education (FACSE) Department held their annual breakfast to honor the outstanding senior students of the year. These young women earned recognition for outstanding achievements both in their FACSE courses as well as their contributions to the school and community. Department teachers Nancy Fairweather, Susie Nass, Janis Hewitt, and Kris Schweigert continue to be such inspirational models for our students. Thank you.
An inspiration on and off the field, Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman, made a surprise visit to Cedar Heights Junior High this morning. Most students and staff members did not know he was coming and the gymnasium exploded in applause and excitement as he walked in the venue. Mr. Sherman spoke at the school’s motivational assembly, “It Takes Courage to be Great!”, about overcoming childhood adversity and having the courage and perseverance to keep trying even when the odds are stacked against you. He fielded questions from students in the audience; you can check in at Visit to Cedar Heights . Mr. Sherman took time after the assembly to meet with six students who are struggling academically by talking with the students individually about their challenges and giving advice on how to overcome these and meet their goals. Richard Sherman and his family foundation, Blanket Coverage, have chosen to work in partnership with students and schools to help students grow in some aspect of their education. The selected students signed a contract that will serve as a tool to monitor progress on benchmark goals such as attendance, behavior, and academics. We sincerely thank Richard Sherman for taking the time to visit Cedar Heights and make a difference for the students in our community.
We are pleased with the response to our initial Thoughtexchange process. This innovative tool allowed stakeholders to share thoughts when and where it’s most convenient. Our goal was to engage our stakeholders in drafting our strategic plan, goals, and priorities. It is clear from the more than 3,300 participants that our community wants to engage with us. Please take a moment to browse through the web-site http://skitsap.thoughtexchange.com/. You will see that stakeholders value our quality teachers and staff and how we support and engage all learners. We are also discovering areas we can improve. We will use all we learn to inform our strategic plan for 2020.
Parent representatives from the Boundary Review Committee presented the recommendations of the Boundary Review Committee to the Board at the Board meeting on Tuesday evening. Essentially, the recommendations are: 1) Reconfigure the grade distribution to grades K-5 elementary schools, grades 6-8 middle schools and grades 9-12 high school as soon as the 2016-17 school year, but no later than the 2017-18 school year. 2) Beginning with the 2015-16 school year move Wye Lake from Sunnyslope to Burley Glenwood; 3) Maintain current open enrollment policy with the following change to specifying that open enrollment requests for students of employees that work at the school take priority over space; and 4) Reconvene the Boundary Committee at the time grade reconfiguration is planned to be implemented, but no later than 2017-18. A final decision on these proposals will be made later this month. Please provide me any feedback you think might be helpful at this juncture.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Because of the generosity of our students, staff and community members, over 8,700 pounds of food and $700 were donated on Saturday to the South Kitsap Helpline. This was over 4,000 pounds more than any previous year. South Colby was the individual school winner. Way to go Bobcats and all !
A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings. As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board reviewed Executive Limitation 14 (EL 14) this past week. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same.
Finally, I trust that each of you will have a wonderful rest of the week and joyful week-end. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who this holiday honors.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
What a fantastic week !! It is really starting to feel a great deal like spring out there. The birds are chirping wildly and the squirrels are scampering …
The South Kitsap High School’s DECA chapter brought two teams to the DECA International Career Development Conference to compete in the Virtual Restaurant World Championships. Both teams earned their way to the semi-finals by winning the Western Region earlier this year. Payton Swinford, who was a one man team, finished in 5th place. Kiera Cline, Nick Matheson and Talia Fazio also reached the final round and finished 7th. The teams received great coaching and mentoring from Mr. Sean Duttry.
Olalla Elementary recently used a school landscaping project as a creative learning opportunity for students. Classrooms located on the backside of Olalla Elementary had an unsightly dirt and gravel area as the view from their windows. The lack of landscaping created intense sun glare in classroom windows and also caused students to track in dirt and dust. Several goals of the project were: 1) Create shade to lessen the heat in the classrooms; and 2) Add to student learning through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) opportunities. The plan for the landscaped area is to provide opportunities for students to be involved in the planning of the landscaping (engineering and math), to observe a natural setting for their science studies, and to use the area as a place to write or draw. On April 22, Earth Day, students, staff, and volunteers worked together planting the area. A community work party was held on April 25 to spread bark around the plantings. A celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 27 in front of the student body, staff members and district administration. The project was completely funded by the Olalla PTA and donations from community members, Morrison Gravel, Lowes, and Home Depot. What a great example of nurturing growth and building community. Well done!!
We have had another fantastic member of our teaching family in the spotlight Kitsap Sun teacher spotlight, Alaura Titus from Cedar Heights . Thank you for all your efforts to bring language arts and social studies to life for our junior high students. Well done!!
The Boundary Review Committee has its final meeting tonight. The purpose of this meeting is to prepare the presentation of its recommendation to the School Board at the May 5, 2015 Board meeting. They will be selecting spokespersons and identifying key points to be made to the board about each of the components of the recommendation.
In planning for the coming year and wanting to be responsive to multiple requests for clarity in the district office organizational chart, I am sharing the district office organizational chart slated for the upcoming year. We have had several folks take a comprehensive look at the support work we need to provide our schools. Two different folks independently interviewed all current teaching and learning department and educational services department staff members as to their roles and responsibilities. Several possible structures for the organizational structure were studied and reviewed. At the end of the day, the proposed structure best meets the needs of students and staff. A clear separation between the teaching and learning functions and the school and family support functions has been delineated. As folks are hired and these positions are filled, I will get back to you with a more complete listing of the roles and responsibilities of each individual in the chart. For the short term, the grey box below each of the three major areas of the district summarizes at the macro level the requisite accountability of each area. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or ideas you have.
On the testing front, South Kitsap students have COMPLETED 4066 separate Smarter Balanced summative assessments during the month of April. Each student grades 3-8 and 11 will complete four Smarter Balanced summative assessments – two each for English Language Arts and Mathematics - by the end of the school year. Students in Grade 10 will complete two Smarter Balanced summative English Language Arts assessments. Students in grades 5 and 8 will additionally complete a Measurement of Student Progress-Science. Students in grades 9-12 who have not yet met standard in Biology, Algebra, and Geometry will complete End of Course (EOC) exams in those subjects by the end of the school year. And the beat goes on… Thank you all for your conscientious attention to our student needs !!
Three South Kitsap High School music groups competed last weekend at Central Washington University in multiple areas. Karl Estes and Ryen Lee received a Superior Rating in the multiple percussion category. The South Kitsap Percussion Ensemble competed in the large group percussion category and also received a Superior Rating.
Both these teams performed flawlessly on their pieces proudly representing their school and school district. Special congratulations go to the Trombone Trio of Kevin Morrison, Cloe Meyers, and Conner Fugier who took FIRST PLACE in the Small Brass Ensemble Division. They performed two pieces; the first being a work written by Anton Bruckner, the composer of numerous symphonies and large orchestral works. Their insightful and professional interpretation wowed the adjudicators and audience alike. Also, hearty congratulations are in order to Mr. Gary Grams, our intrepid SKHS Band Director, for giving so much to these and all his students. Without his unwavering support and high expectations based on his resolute belief in his students, this level of performance would not be possible.
As we begin summer planning (I know it seems too soon to have this conversation), we are beginning the draft of our August Important Dates Calendar. If you have items of importance, please be sure to check this calendar as we get closer to school starting.
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.
What another great week !! Students and staff continue to labor industriously on the State mandated tests. We will prevail as a result of our hard work.
The Boundary Review Committee meets tonight at 6:00pm at John Sedgwick Junior High. The focus of the committee’s work tonight will be to finalize its recommendation to the Board. We are so grateful to this group of staff and community members for their focused and diligent work.
As all of us have been watching our State Legislature as it sets the educational priorities for our State, it is not lost on us that major initiatives hang in the balance. One of these is all-day kindergarten and rather or not we will be able to cover the costs for all children in all ten schools in the coming school year here in the South Kitsap School District. In looking at the current proposed Senate and House budget proposals, it appears that all-day kindergarten is slated for almost full funding for our district. In other words, staff have calculated that if the funding slated comes through, all but two of our ten schools will be fully funded by the State. The pivot tables (proposed legislative budget impact numbers) have been studied; and as a result, I am confident in recommending to the Board that we move forward and fully fund all schools for all-day kindergarten for the coming 2015-16 academic year. I believe that while there is some risk in making this decision prior to the final legislative gavel, I think every day we delay this decision, parents in our community are making plans for their children for the coming year and we want them to choose our amazing schools. Our community families can count on us to be thoughtful in our deliberations and whenever and wherever possible timely in our communication. We also plan to offer one half day kindergarten session at one site in the district for those families who would prefer to have their kindergartner attend only a half day program as we believe choice is important for today’s families. We are looking forward to great things for our upcoming Class of 2028!! Please let me know if you have any questions.
In other Team Kindergarten news, the Kindergarten Assessment and Report Card Committee had its first meeting on Monday. The committee is charged with the task of making revisions to the kindergarten report card and also to the kindergarten assessments. They will be reviewing both the report card and the assessments within the context of the progress being made by all-day kindergarten students, the new ELA proposed adoption, Journeys, and the math curriculum, Envisions in alignment with the recommendations of the Assessment committee. The next committee meeting is May 4.
Renata Durst, teacher from Cedar Heights, and Amy Miller, Communication Specialist, accompanied a group of enthusiastic students to We Day at Seattle Center today. We Day is a movement to inspire and empower young people to find their passion and create the change they want to see locally and globally. The event brings together world renowned speakers and performers with international activists to share their passion for change and energize the crowd with unforgettable performances and motivational speeches. We Day is connected to the year-long We Act program, which provides educational resources and campaigns to help young people turn inspiration into sustained action. Visit www.weday.org for more information. I look forward to more and more students participating in this incredible event. It is so inspiring to think of moving away from a Me Generation to a We Generation…
In reviewing the April enrollment, our student numbers continue to remain strong. As a district, this is the strongest and most stable enrollment trend line we have had in years. Thank you for all your efforts in shaping this stable positive trend. This is making a real difference in our fund balance. A reminder that we are a Policy Governance district and as such review our performance regularly at Board meetings. As a continuing part of my evaluation, the Board also reviewed Executive Limitation 5 (EL 5) and Executive Limitation 6 (EL6) this past week. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this Executive Limitation or my certification of same.
Spots are filling up for the 2015-16 first grade Spanish Immersion program at Burley Glenwood Elementary. The students in this year’s Spanish Immersion program will move on to the second grade Spanish Immersion program. As our elementary enrollment continues to climb, it is more important than last year to get registration forms in soon to secure a place in the program for the upcoming year as there are limited student spots. The following link from the Spanish Immersion Program by Minnetonka Public Schools http://vimeo.com/14073214 provides an informative look into what an immersion program entails and how one district in the country has captured the experience. Central to the South Kitsap Spanish Immersion Program is the knowledge that we are preparing our students for a vastly different future and world than in the past and even the present. Creative, inquisitive and innovative thinking integrated with collaborative, communicative, compassionate and global minded attributes are the components of successful citizenship in the 21st Century.
At our recent Board meeting at Olalla Elementary School, students from several classes demonstrated their STEM prowess. It is so inspiring to have children as young as second grade explain scientific principles usually taught in the middle grades or later. Fourth and fifth grade students from Ms. Sherburn’s class described the concepts of potential and kinetic energy and the resultant forces on elastic and inelastic collisions. Members of the School Board had the tables turned on them as the students asked them questions about the collision concepts and insisted that the Board members answering “Explain their thinking”. It was a great night and a wonderful presentation of the incredible work going on at Olalla with their implementation of Project Lead the Way. Kudos to the Olalla staff, and also to Sara Hatfield and our district Career and Technical Department, as well as Derry Lyons and our intrepid IT Department for supporting this innovative project. Well done.
Finally, a staff member recently sent me this thoughtful communication regarding state testing. In the letter, the teacher touches on some fundamental topics important to all of us as educators. It also illustrates that every child is more than a test score and every school is more than a test score. Another provocative topic for PLC discussion....
Michelle Reid, Ed.D.